A blog by the staff of the Thomas Ford Memorial Library
I am always looking for something different to listen to while driving to work or doing chores. I found what I sought in Nelson Mandela’s Favorite African Folktales: An Audiobook Benefitting Children in South Africa Orphaned and Impacted by HIV/AIDS. The producers started with Mandela’s 2002 collection of folktales and enlisted a great lineup of readers, including Matt Damon, Whoopi Goldberg, Samuel L. Jackson, and Jurnee Smollett. To this they added a welcome message from Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a variety of musical introductions, and a small concert by South Africa’s Vusi Mahlasela at the end. The twenty plus stories come mostly from the southern region of Africa with a few extras from Morocco, Tanzania, and Uganda. Many of the stories are fairly short. If I added a minute or two sitting in the parking lot, I often heard two or three stories during my fifteen minute drive to work. A few, such as “The Mother Who Turned to Dust” read by Helen Mirren, last between ten and fifteen minutes. While some of the stories might be enjoyed more by adults than children, most are appropriate for all ages. If you like Aesop, the Brothers Grimm, or Hans Christian Andersen, try Nelson Mandela’s Favorite African Folktales.
–Reviewed by Rick